29 - May 05, 2002
TRADE GAP WITH SAARC IMPROVES
Pakistan's trade gap with Saarc member countries
improved to $12.2 million during the July-January period of the
current financial year against $36.6 million in 2000-01.
Official figures available, showed that Pakistan's
exports to Saarc-member countries during the period stood at $132.759
million against $144.975 million worth goods imported from these
Pakistan's major regional trading partner during
the July- Jan period of the current financial year was India, followed
by Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Country-wise trade break-up with Saarc member
countries showed that Islamabad exported goods to India worth $33.618
million during the July-Jan period of the current financial year,
while imported goods worth $113.611 million from India during the same
The average share of India in Pakistan global
exports and imports during the same period stood at 0.7 per cent and 2
per cent, respectively.
Pakistan exported goods to Bangladesh worth $53.54
million during the first seven months of the current financial year,
while Islamabad imported $13.784 million goods from Dhaka during the
Thus the average share of Bangladesh in Pakistan's
global exports and imports stood at 1 per cent and 0.2 per cent.
Islamabad exported goods worth $42.863 million to Sri Lanka during the
same period while imported goods worth $16.93 million during the same
period this year.
DROUGHT RELIEF PLAN
The $360 million Drought Emergency Relief
Assistance (DERA) programme, to be completed in three years, involves
$200 million spending on import of oil and farming inputs, according
to official sources.
Out of the $130 million World Bank contribution to
DERA, major chunk of $45 million would be spent on importing petroleum
and petroleum products.
An equal amount would be utilized to import
fertilizer and other agriculture items in addition to importing animal
vaccines, agriculture & water sector equipment and construction
and power generating machinery.
Apart from this, the government, whose total
contributions to the $360 million DERA comes to around $130 million,
would spend some $110 million on importing drought induced fuel oil
and other imports.
BANKS OFFER 'GENEROUS' LOANS TO SPINNERS
Banks continue to offer generous financial
assistance to the spinners, contemptuously ignoring the value added
textile sectors in matter of allocation of loans.
This approach of the bankers, many small
businessmen in the textile sector complain, is defeating the
objectives set in the 'Textile Vision 2005'. This is an operational
plan prepared by the government to restructure textile industry, focus
on value added sector and enable Pakistan's textile exporters to
prepare for marketing beyond the year 2004 when entire system of
textile export quotas would be dismantled.
Neither the Export Promotion Bureau nor the Board
of Investment has ever bothered to take stock of the situation in the
textile sector. None of the two agencies has come out with any
analytical study to guide the textile exporters. Only the Textile
Commissioner's Office has been doing some strategic exercises for the
DRAWBACK ON MILK PRODUCTS NOTIFIED
The Central Board of Revenue has notified duty
drawback facility on export of milk products. The repayment of customs
duty will be admissible in respect of the goods exported on or after
December 14, 2000 , said a customs notification issued on Wednesday.
The duty drawback at a rate of Rs36.33 per kg will
be available on export of Nescafe classic 25 grams and its raw
materials Nescafe bulk KSX-15; Rs6.52 per kg on Nescafe for the 18
grams and its raw materials-Nescafe bulk KSX-15, artificial sweetener,
alkalized coca powder, satiaxane-xanthan gum and milk flavour.
15PC GST LIKELY ON IMPORT OF FARM ITEMS
The government is likely to levy 15 per cent
general sales tax (GST) on agricultural produce on their import from
the financial year 2002-03. Well-placed sources told on Monday that
the decision to this effect is expected to be announced in the budget
The agriculture produce, which are most likely to
be brought under the GST net included-bulbs, tubers, potatoes, onions
and shallots, garlic, dried leguminous vegetables, shelled, whether
skinned or split, live plants and seeds of vegetables, fruits and
flowers, wheat and oats.
CUSTOMS START RELEASING RED CHILLIES
Customs have started releasing detained Indian red
chillies from Monday after re-affirmation from the PCSIR and
Department of Plant Protection that the commodity is free from any
fungal disease or injurious insects.
An official in Appraisement Collectorate told that
orders had been issued to the port authorities to clear the detained
Indian red chillies. He said within next one or two days, around 100-
150 tons of chillies will be released.
MEDICINES' PRICES MAY BE DEREGULATED
If the government allows pharmaceutical companies
to sell medicines at any price they like, and that tariff on the
import of pharmaceutical raw material could be reduced from 10 to 5
per cent, than the companies will pay 15 per cent General Sales Tax.